Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division, Department C
Not for Publication – Rule 111, Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court.
Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County Cause No. CR2009-006463-015 The Honorable Daniel G. Martin, Judge.
Thomas C. Horne, Arizona Attorney General Phoenix By Joseph T. Maziarz, Chief Counsel Criminal Appeals and Aaron J. Moskowitz, Assistant Attorney General.
Attorneys for Appellee James J. Haas, Maricopa County Public Defender Phoenix By Joel M. Glynn, Deputy Public Defender Attorneys for Appellant.
¶1 Yvonne Walker appeals her convictions and sentences for money laundering in the second degree and conspiracy to commit sale or transportation of marijuana. Walker argues the superior court should have granted her motion for acquittal under Rule 20 of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure on the money laundering charge because the State did not present substantial evidence of her guilt. Walker further argues the evidence did not support the jury's verdict finding her guilty on the conspiracy charge.
¶2 Although Walker makes these arguments separately, our analysis of the evidence under each argument is the same. Ariz. R. Crim. P. 20(a); State v. West, 226 Ariz. 559, 562, ¶¶ 15-16, 250 P.3d 1188, 1191 (inquiry is whether State presented "substantial evidence, " that is, "such proof that 'reasonable persons could accept as adequate and sufficient to support a conclusion of defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt'") (citation omitted); State v. Fulminante, 193 Ariz. 485, 493, ¶ 24, 975 P.2d 75, 83 (1999); State v. Sharma, 216 Ariz. 292, 294, ¶ 7, 165 P.3d 693, 695 (App. 2007). Therefore, we address these two arguments together, and will not reverse the superior court's denial of a Rule 20 motion or a jury verdict unless there are no probative facts supporting the defendant's conviction. State v. Johnson, 215 Ariz. 28, 29, ¶ 2, 156 P.3d 445, 446 (App. 2007); State v. Miles, 211 Ariz. 475, 481, ¶ 23, 123 P.3d 669, 675 (App. 2005).
¶3 Here, the record reflects the State presented substantial evidence supporting Walker's convictions for both money laundering in the second degree and conspiracy to commit sale or transportation of marijuana. Therefore, we disagree with both of Walker's arguments and affirm her convictions and sentences.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
¶4 Because Walker challenges the sufficiency of the evidence, we set forth the facts in some detail. On February 16, 2009, as part of a long-term and large-scale investigation, police were surveilling a suspected drug stash-house when they saw Walker leave the house in a Honda Passport at about 3:35 P.M. Police followed Walker as she drove the Honda to a mailbox store, where she bought several cardboard boxes, and then drove to a 99-cent store to buy toilet paper and floral-patterned paper towels.
¶5 Walker returned to the house, drove the Honda into the garage, and a few minutes later, drove the Honda out of the garage and parked it on the street in front of the house. Walker got out of the Honda while a woman named Luz Valenzuela came out of the house, and they both approached the driver, a woman, of a Toyota who had arrived shortly before. Walker hugged the Toyota's driver and the three women spoke for a few minutes. Afterwards, Walker and Valenzuela re-entered the house while the Toyota's driver, along with other occupants in the Toyota, entered the Honda and drove away.
¶6 At about 4:26 P.M., a Dodge Caravan arrived at the house and parked in the garage. The Dodge left the house at about 5:20 P.M., a time drug transporters often take their packages to parcel shipping companies so "[their] product will not sit at the store [s] ."
¶7 When police attempted to stop the Dodge for traffic violations, the driver tried to evade the police, drove the Dodge through a subdivision's park-like "greenbelt, " stopped the Dodge, and ran away. Police ordered Walker out of the front passenger seat and detained her. Police found four cardboard boxes inside the Dodge that contained 117 pounds of marijuana. The marijuana was divided into bales and was wrapped in floral-patterned paper towels.
¶8 Police removed Walker's purse from the Dodge and asked her if everything in the purse belonged to her. Walker said no, and stated the driver had "placed something" inside her purse. Police opened the purse and found a yellow ...